How COVID Helped the Marijuana Industry Grow Up – Crime Report

The pandemic was a disaster for most of the American economy — except for one industry.

Legal cannabis sales in the U.S. hit a record $17.5 billion in 2020, a 46 percent increase compared to the previous year, according to a report by BDSA, a cannabis sales data platform.

Much of the increase was powered by online ordering, reflecting the same surge in business experienced by major online marketers like Amazon. And in a sign of how a product once marketed in the shadows has now gone mainstream, many cannabis sellers faced the pandemic by offering delivery and curbside pickup.

For many, apparently, it paid off, The Crime Report found in interviews with industry leaders.

“We implemented curbside, delivery and online ordering in many of our markets,” Jennifer Dooley, chief strategy officer for Green Thumb Industries, one of the 15 largest commercial marijuana sellers in the world, said in an email interview.

“[That] certainly had a positive impact on our ability to serve more patients and customers throughout the pandemic.”

Green Thumb Industries wasn’t alone.

Eaze, a cannabis product delivery service based in San Francisco, reported a 60 percent increase in customer sign-ups during the 30 days following March 13, 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency and states began to shut down.

Throughout all of 2020, the company reported a 71 percent increase in new customer sign-ups.

Leafly, a website where people can learn about all things cannabis, found that established weed consumers increased their average monthly spending by 33 percent.

And business looks to get even better.

Onfleet, a San Francisco-based delivery management company, reported in an article by Forbes, that cannabis delivery is already up 25 to 30 percent this year compared to 2020. The company expects growth to continue.

Anne Fleshman. Photo courtesy

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